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Dutch Community

[I’m participating in the Reverb10 challenge to post daily in December in response to a provided prompt.]

Day 7 prompt (from Cali Harris) asks: ‘Community. Where have you discovered community in 2010, and what community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?’

As an expat (arrived here 18 months ago), this is something I’ve really tried to give some thought to this year.

I’ve made an effort to be fully aware of the Dutch community I live in, at all levels: our street, our neighborhood, our city (Den Haag), our province (Zuid Holland), this country.

I’ve focused on awareness of the community around us, and our place in it. So often we get tend to get caught up in our own little world – be it family, home, workplace, circle of friends, favorite places.

Sometimes we forget that we are part of something larger. If our role is small (i.e., we tend to be insular or inward-focused), we not only don’t contribute to the sense of community, we also do not gain from being more involved.

So I’ve consciously tried to strengthen ties to our community on many levels, and feel that I have made progress. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

In doing so, I feel more connected. More ‘a part’ and a little less ‘apart.’

As for 2011, I intend to renew my commitment to deepening this sense of community. Step by step, person by person, action by action.

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